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2004 Ford Expedition

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2004 Ford Expedition Review

A good choice of features, but a large SUV with poor fuel economy and poor handling.

Reviewed by Automotive on


Nestled between the Ford Explorer and the Excursion sits the 2004 Ford Expedition. This SUV comes with second- and third-row seating and a front bench seat to create seating for up to seven people. The Expedition uses either rear drive or four-wheel drive. It comes equipped with a number of safety features as well.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 4.6-liter V-8, 5.4-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Ford Expedition XLS, Ford Expedition XLT, Ford Expedition Sport, Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer, Ford Expedition XLT NBX

What's New

The Ford Expedition underwent a major redesign in 2003. For 2004, Ford makes changes to the trim levels, features, and option packages. The XLS replaces the XLT Value. The NBX replaces the FX4 Off-Road Package, and the company creates a new XLT Sport.

A limited-slip rear axle no longer comes standard, and a standard tire pressure monitor and a rear DVD entertainment system have been added to the XLT, XLT Sport, and Eddie Bauer. These trims also receive a new rear-obstacle detection system as a standard feature. 2004 also marks the first time that a power-foldable third-row bench seat becomes available for models with cloth upholstery.


Standard features for the 2004 Ford Expedition include remote power locks, heated power mirrors, power windows, 17-inch steel wheels, variable intermittent windshield wipers, privacy glass, a rear defogger, a rear intermittent wiper, a roof rack, and manual flip-up liftgate window in the liftgate door. The XLT features 17-inch alloy wheels instead of steel wheels. The Eddie Bauer adds turn signal mirrors.

The exterior of the SUV looks stately and understated, whether the bumpers in the front and rear and the matching grille with the Ford logo emblazoned in the center come covered in the body color or chrome.


The 2004 Expedition comes in five trims: XLS, XLT, XLT Sport, Eddie Bauer, and XLT NBX. Standard interior features for the XLS include cloth upholstery, a 40/60-split front bench seat with lumbar support for the driver, split-folding and reclining second-and third-row seats, cruise control, air-conditioning, adjustable pedals, speed-sensitive power steering, a tilt steering wheel with cruise controls, a compass, and a four-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo. The XLT adds front and rear air-conditioning and an external temperature display.

The 2004 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer features a driver captain’s chair with six-way power and height and lumbar adjustments, a front-passenger captain’s chair with manually adjustable lumbar support, leather upholstery, a universal remote transmitter for the garage door, rear parking sensors, a tilt steering wheel with built-in audio and cruise controls, tri-zone climate control, and a trip computer. You can also get the optional navigation system and DVD player.

The cockpit shows a clear view of the gauges, except the transmission level blocks the four-wheel-drive switch and the turn signal stalk blocks the power pedal button. The quality of materials used in this SUV seems average for this class and the seats feel roomy and soft. Thick roof pillars and large headrests obscure rear visibility. Large exterior side mirrors provide some field of vision of the rear. The captain’s seats in the Eddie Bauer feel hard and they do not slide forward or backward. Buyers struggle a little to get the second-row seat to fold flat. Smaller people experience some difficulty climbing in and out of the Expedition due to its high step-in height. With the second and third bench seatbacks folded down, it opens the cargo space to 110.5 cubic feet. With the seats upright, cargo capacity totals 20.6 cubic feet.

Performance & Handling

The base engine for the 2004 Ford Expedition—a 4.6-liter, single overhead cam (SOHC), V-8 engine—makes 232 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque. Available for all of the trims except the XLT, a 5.4-liter, SOHC V-8 generates 260 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission.

The 5.4-liter engine provides more power for accelerating, passing, and merging in highway traffic. This engine also provides enough power to handle a towing capacity of 8950 pounds. The long wheelbase and independent rear suspension delivers a stable ride, even on some bumpy roads. When traversing wavy roads, the Expedition does not display a floating sensation; rocking sensation normally occurs in other large SUVs. The steering feels sure, and it won’t be a struggle to maneuver this large vehicle. The brakes have strong stopping power, and the cabin insulation effectively mutes wind and road noise during highway driving.


The 2004 Ford Expedition includes stability control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, front airbags, and a remote anti-theft alarm system. It also has ventilated front disc and solid rear drum brakes, an engine immobilizer, and electronic brake force distribution. The XLT Sport, Eddie Bauer, and NBX have a tire pressure monitoring system and traction control.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration gives the Expedition five out of five stars for passenger and driver protection in front- and side-impact collisions.

EPA Fuel Economy

Ford Expedition 4.6-liter V-8: 14/18 mpg city/highway
Ford Expedition 5.4-liter V-8: 12/16 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Roomy interior
  • Third-row seat folds flat
  • Good handling for its size
  • Plenty of cargo room
  • Good crash test scores

You Won't Like

  • Poor ride quality
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Difficult entry and exit

Sum Up

A good choice of features, but a large SUV with poor fuel economy and poor handling.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Toyota Sequoia
  • Buick Rainier

See the New 2015 Expedition.

Front & Driver Side View

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